will have or would have

 

We use the perfective will have when we are looking back from a point in time when something will have happened.

By the end of the decade scientists will have discovered a cure for influenza.
I will phone at six o’clock. He will have got home by then.

or looking "back" from the present:

Look at the time. The match will have started.
It’s half past five. Dad will have finished work.

We use would have as the past tense form of will have:

I phoned at six o’clock. I knew he would have got home by then.
It was half past five. Dad would have finished work.

We use would have in past conditionals to talk about something that did not happen:

If it had been a little warmer we would have gone for a swim.
He would have been very angry if he had seen you.
 

Exercise

Comments

Hello everyone,I am a bit confused about how to use WOULD in the following situation.If i am expecting a mail from someone and if I talk to myself about it, would it be appropriate to say "would he have replied to my mail ? " OR should I say "may he have replied to my mail ? "

Hi retriever,

I think what you should say is 'Will he have replied to my email?'. Although your use of 'may' is grammatically correct in the second question, 'may' is not generally used in questions that talk about the chance of something happening. Personally, I would probably say 'I wonder if he's replied to my email?', but your first question with 'will have' is grammatically correct.

By the way, 'mail' is an uncount noun and refers only to the kind of mail that is printed on paper; 'email' can be count or uncount and refers to the other kind that is more common nowadays.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk

Thank you very much for your help.So even if 'would he have replied to my email ?' is grammaticaly correct, it cannot be used in such situations.One more thing, what is the difference between these two sentences:

(1)What would happen if I pressed this button?

(2)What will happen if I press this button?

To me both these sentences mean the same thing.

Hello ,, is it correct if I said " if you were my daughter I would've tickled your tummy until you wake up " and thanks :)

Hello HA Qutub,

The first part is correct, but the verb in the last clause needs to be in a past tense as well:

If you were my daughter I would've tickled your tummy until you woke up.

 

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi im just new here..
is it the same to say.( . if he saw you ,he would be angry).....?
thanx for awesome help and great efforts

Hi algoar,

Welcome to LearnEnglish!  I'm not sure I understand your question.  You say 'Is it the same to say...', but I don't know what you are comparing it to - the same as what? Your sentence is grammatically correct, but I'm not sure what is it supposed to be the same as - another example, perhaps?

If you can clarify then I'll be happy to help.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi...is the use of himself right here....
It would have been a fiasco for himself too.

Hi dhananjay81991,

Please see our reflexive pronouns page for an explanation of how to use them. As you'll see, reflexive pronouns can be used for emphasis (see the example with Sir Paul McCartney), but used alone like this is not correct. I'd recommend just saying "...a fiasco for him too", as the word too already emphasises him.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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